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Govt surveillance law under review

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/06/2016

The government has begun a review of its search and surveillance law to see how well it's working.

The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 governs police and government agency powers to search people or property and to investigate and prosecute crime.

It was brought in to give more order and clarity to powers that existed under 69 separate laws.

A four-year review of the Act is required to get underway by June 30.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the Act also outlines what authorities could and couldn't do when exercising those powers, including requirements to protect the rights and privacy of New Zealanders.

The review will focus on the impact new technology, such as smart devices, has had on the way people share huge amounts of information.

"When investigating and prosecuting crime, this has changed the type of information that law enforcement agencies may need to access and can pose challenges to their ability to access it," Ms Adams says.

"When considering these issues, it's important to take into account the potential implications for people's privacy, as well as other rights the Act recognises."

The review will also look at any issues courts may have highlighted, she said.

Public submissions will be sought later this year and a final report is due out in June 2017.

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